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Consumer/Health Groups Call for Meaningful Change in How Treasury Department Regulates Alcohol Labeling
Date:12/12/2008

national leadership that is critically needed to address the growing epidemic of obesity."

Due to the current lack of leadership, the organizations point to one of the consequences of not requiring consistent and comprehensive alcohol labeling: most Americans have no idea what constitutes a "standard drink," which the Dietary Guidelines defines as 12 fluid ounces of regular beer, 5 fluid ounces of wine and 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof (40 percent) distilled spirits. According to a recent survey commissioned by the National Consumers League, 54 percent of Americans don't know there is such a thing as a "standard drink," even though a large majority of state drivers' license manuals and national and state public health agencies use the "standard drink" definition to explain responsible drinking.

"It shouldn't take a calculator for consumers to tell how many 'standard drinks' are in a particular product or to determine how much alcohol they are actually consuming," said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League. "On behalf of the nation's public health and nutrition organizations, consumer advocates, leading public health officials and consumers themselves, we say it is time for the government to issue a useful final regulation requiring alcohol labeling."

While continuing to press for a useful final regulation on alcohol labeling, the four public interest organizations are taking steps to fill the void by providing consumers with information about alcohol content and what constitutes moderate drinking. Especially during the holidays, Americans should have these facts:

    * When it comes to drinking alcohol, the old adage is true: It doesn't
      matter what you drink, it's really how much that counts.  Don't kid
      yourself into thinking beer or wine is "safer" or less "potent" than the
      "hard stuff."
    * One of the most important tips about responsibl
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SOURCE Shape Up America!
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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